BILOXI – OffLeaseOnly and Boats Direct USA recently sponsored the “Smokin’ the Sound,” Poker Run, which kicked off in late May with more than 50 powerboats in Mississippi. Off Lease Only and Boats Direct USA owners Mark and Eileen Fischer participated in the high-powered event!
A thundering rumble filled the air May 29-31st as powerboats of all shapes and sizes arrived for the sixth year in a row for a weekend of sun and powerboat fun.
A portion of the Poker Run proceeds went towards the “Infinite Love Benefit” to support the Carey Downs and Jeremie Floyd Children’s Trust. Well-known in the power boating community, Carey Downs and Jeremie Floyd were killed in an August 2014 boating accident. The men’s families were the beneficiaries of the fundraising.
The event proved to be nothing short of spectacular!
“There were boats covering all ranges, from cigarette boats to cat boats, boats of all sizes,” said Paul J. Bertucci, executive vice president of FEB Distributing/Capital City Beverages, which also sponsored the event. “There were also luxury performance center consoles that participated. We had a good variety of the of class of powerboats from $250,000 to $1 million.
Boating enthusiasts gathered in Biloxi for the approximate 135-mile Poker Run, which included a route that took boaters 25 miles offshore to Ship Island, on to Bay St. Louis, MS, then back along the beachfront to Gulfport, MS, Bertucci said.
A good time was had by all!
“The distance, the type of boats, the weather and just good old Southern hospitality made this a spectacular event,” Bertucci said. “What I heard about more than anything else was the generosity and hospitality of the local citizens.”
Boats Direct USA owners Mark and Eileen Fischer were there with their stunning orange and blue Nortech, which draws crowds wherever it goes. The Fischers also own OffLeaseOnly, the highest volume independent used car dealer in Florida, with stores in Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Miami and Orlando.
The Fischers are longtime members of the Florida Powerboat Club and are staunch supporters of the powerboating lifestyle and the charities and community-involvement supported by the FPC.
“Poker Runs are a great way to spotlight Florida’s boating community, the economic impact boaters have on the local community and also the charity work is something we are proud to be a part of,” Mark Fischer said. “Florida and boats go hand-in-hand, with our year-round beautiful weather and gorgeous waterways. Boating is a great way to draw attention to just about any cause.”
Speaking of drawing attention and business to an area that was well deserving. The small town of Bay St. Louis was somewhat overwhelmed when more than 50 powerboats gathered in the new small craft harbor that had been rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina. The harbor is less than a year old and it was incredible to see it buzzing with business, Bertucci said.
‘It was overwhelming for a little small area,” Bertucci said. “The mayor of Bay St. Louis came out. This town had been destroyed by Katrina. All the buildings … were brand new structures.”
Bertucci said the Poker Run was a huge success, and is already looking forward to next year’s event.
The Fischers’ Boats Direct USA in Key Largo has 100 new and used boats for sale and is the factory outlet for custom boat brands Black Water Boats, Deep Impact Custom Boats and Ocean Hawk Powerboats. If you’re looking for a luxury performance center console boat- Boats Direct USA has an incredible selection for you!